What are eBooks?

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EBooks come in a variety of file formats, like ePub, Mobi and PDF. Each of these has different features and functionalities.

eBook formats


When you publish your eBook to Smashwords you are able to distribute your book in many different formats such as ePub and PDF.


ePub stands for electronic publication. It’s the most commonly used format for eBooks. It works on eReaders on almost all devices like iPads, Windows and Android devices. Usually, an ePub has a very small file size.


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Sometimes, you’ll see PDFs sold as ePDFs. Don’t let this confuse you: the seller just wants you to know that you can read it on an electronic device like a tablet or smartphone. Our advice is that if there are diacritics (special marks on letters to show you how to pronounce them) in your language that you publish only in ePub format.

For more information on eBook Layouts, see Appendix A.